Home About Us Low Cost S/N Clinics Colony Pictures Adoptables In Memory In the News Contact Us Feral Cat Links Spotlight Helpful Tips
© Copyright Feral Feline Friends of East Tennessee 2010
wanting to help the unwanted...
Feral Feline Friends of East Tennessee, PO Box 32121, Knoxville, TN  37930-2121    info@feralfelinefriends.org     (865) 919-CATS (2287)
Helpful Tips
wanting to help the unwanted…..
Checking Veterinary Records Every applicant who mentions a current or recent (past 5 years) pet should provide a veterinary reference. Standard veterinary care includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, and an annual exam. Some folks may not vaccinate their older cats due to the risk of cancer — this is fine, as long as they are still getting an annual exam. Some important questions: *Are the animals up to date on vaccinations and exams? If not, how long since the last visit? *Are the animals spayed/neutered? *Are there any other animals listed under this person’s account? *If the animal passed away from kidney failure, cancer, etc., does it look like the person did all they                   could for the animal? *Is there any record of the animal being declawed? Keep in mind that some applicants don’t mention that they may have used another vet, or that they went to an emergency vet in the last weeks/days of their pet’s life. If there are holes in the vet records, give the applicant the benefit of the doubt and ask them if the animal received care somewhere else during this time.  If the applicant denied treatment due to financial issues, be very wary that this may happen to your cat if adopted by applicant.  As well, if an applicant’s vetting history is not stellar, you can ask him/her if there is anything they would do different. Sometimes people learn about cat health requirements the hard way and regret it. Checking Personal References Personal references can be used with applicants who don’t have vet records or in addition to vet records if you wish. This is used to verify pet ownership history and get a feel for the applicant and how they would care for an animal. Here’s an example of some questions to ask: *What is your relationship to the applicant? *Have you seen this person interact with animals? *Do you know if this person had pets in the past? If so, what happened to it? *Is this person responsible? *Would you recommend this person as a pet owner? Landlord Check If the applicant is a renter, be sure s/he is allowed to have pets and that it is clearly stated in the lease. After all, you don’t want to adopt a cat to an applicant, only to have it returned a month later when the landlord finds out! Call the landlord and see if there is any fee or condition associated with having a pet, and to notify the landlord that his/her tenant is planning to adopt from you. Meet and Greet The references checked out and you are ready for the applicant to meet you and your cat in your home–great! Take the chance to ask more questions and observe. This is also a chance for the adopter to ask questions about your cat’s health, behavior, and likes/dislikes. Above all else, go with your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, do not adopt your cat to that applicant. You will regret it later and may find that your instincts were right. Home Visit If all the references check out, the meet and greet with you and the potential adopter goes well, then you want to proceed with the home visit (if you are doing one). You can conduct the home visit when you go to drop off your cat, but always be prepared to turn around and bring the cat back if you don’t like what you see. Pay attention to the safety of the home for a cat: are there broken windows, missing window screens, doors that don’t latch holes in walls, plants poisonous to cats, or unsafe electrical wires? If your cat is a kitten, have they “kitten-proofed” the home? Where the cat will be staying–does it get the run of the house? Where will its bed, food, water, and litterbox be? Adoption Contract and Fee The adoption contract should outline the conditions of adoption and what will happen if those conditions are not met. It should also state what will happen to the cat if the new arrangement doesn’t work out. You can download a sample Adoption Contract from some rescue sites and use it as-is or edit to suit your needs. We also highly recommend charging a fee, however small. This will subsidize the cost of the veterinary care, but it will also discourage adopters who may not value your kitty. If someone is not willing to pay $25 adoption fee to adopt the cat, what will happen with a much larger vet bill? Speaking of vet bills be sure you give the cat’s vet records (or the vet’s name and phone number) to the adopter. Follow up Make sure you are able to follow up on how your cat is doing. You should leave your contact information for the adopter in case she/he has any questions or concerns.  If you cut them off immediately, then you risk your cat being dumped or rehomed. While this sounds like a lot of steps, please keep in mind that it can be a dangerous world out there for an animal.   Your diligence will guarantee that your cat will be safe and happy and have the lifelong stability that she/he deserves.